Are you Rock Band Network ready?

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SVR sponsor Pyramind is the leader in digital music, recording, and game audio training in the heart of San Francisco. In addition to their diverse lineup of courses and certifications, they provide sound and music production services for the biggest names in interactive entertainment. We talked to Greg Gordon, Pyramind CEO and founder, about the recently announced Rock Band Network and how Pyramind is helping bands get ready for it.

SVR: We saw that the Rock Band Network was announced this summer! Can you tell us more about it?

Greg Gordon: The Rock Band Network is an exciting way for bands and musicians to upload their own songs for millions of gamers around the world to play in the highly-successful Rock Band series of games. Rock Band Network is still in closed Beta for testing right now but is expected to open its doors to the public sometime first quarter of 2010. It presents some exciting opportunities but also some significant challenges. I spent two days in training with one of the game implementation specialists from Harmonix and I can tell you that to get one song into game play format will require a minimum of twenty to forty hours of work.

SVR: How easy is it to get a song included in Rock Band and how much can I expect to make if my song is sold?

GG: Getting a song into game play format will require some skills in MIDI transcription. This means you will need to transcribe your multi track stems to MIDI data so the game play engine can then represent the notes as Diamonds for triggering in game play. Beyond this you will need to program all the lyrics in sync with the performance and then add all the performer and audience response cues as well as the lighting! You will need to set yourself up with a creator’s account and become a registered developer with the Creators Rock Band Network. There will be some software requirements and definitely a learning curve to wrap your head around the whole process. Selling your song will get you thirty cents on the dollar and this includes all publishing and performance royalties. You can choose to price it at one, two, or three dollars. All transactions are handled in Microsoft Bucks.

SVR: Who approves the song? Do you know much about the criteria for approval? How can I up my chances?

GG: Getting into the RBN will require that you go through 2 levels of testing: QA Play Testing and then a peer review level for fixes and approval before publishing. Once your track passes peer review there is a 48-hour window to go live on the store. You can up your chances by being active on the network and getting involved with the peer review process. The more you play and test, the better your chances of having your title played and tested.

SVR: How is Pyramind connected to the Rock Band Network rollout?

GG: Currently Pyramind has no formal connection other than that we intend to be a resource for people wanting to learn the process of getting their tracks RBN ready, as well as potentially offering it as a service to those not wanting or willing to do it for themselves. As both a game audio production company and a training facility, Pyramind sees RBN as a great mix of both of its strengths and we are excited by the prospects. For those interested in finding out more, please email me at [email protected] or call me directly at 415.896.9800 x.201.